The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have committed to strengthening collaboration towards the use of data analytics in the fight against diseases in the African region.
The commitment was made during a technical visit to the WHO Africa office in Brazzaville, Congo by a delegation from BMGF led by Jennifer Gardy, Deputy Director, Surveillance, Data, and Epidemiology from 8 to 10 January 2024.
The visit provided a platform for the delegation to understand how the WHO Regional Office for Africa’s Precision Public Health Metrics (PPHM) programme is strengthening health and disease modelling in Africa.
The PPHM unit was set up as a cross-cutting team within the Universal Health Coverage Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases (UCN) Cluster in WHO Africa to support all programme areas with data analytics to control, eradicate and eliminate diseases in the African region.
“Through precision public health, we are poised to deploy analytics to drive evidence and investments for public health interventions. We welcome the opportunity to build synergies with BMFG and other partners in this effort to leverage data in the fight against diseases,” says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa.
Discussions during the engagement centered on the alignment between the vision and strategies of the UCN cluster and the BMGF, and how this can inform the work of the PPHM programme as it works to support and enhance the use of data analytics at both regional and country level.
Furthermore, the WHO Africa Regional Office and BMFG express commitment to continue to work closely, through the UCN Cluster and PPHM, to support the many areas identified for collaboration, with an initial focus on the eradication of malaria in the region.
“We recognize the need to leverage data for public health decision-making. We are looking forward to building synergies with the WHO Africa Regional Office to support countries in the region in their efforts to use data-informed solutions to fight disease,” says Jennifer Gardy.
PPH was established as a special strategic initiative to deepen the precision public health for Africa (PPH4Africa) strategic initiative, advancing the deployment of analytics towards health systems strengthening and response. This vision is aligned with ongoing efforts to strengthen capacity on epidemiological modelling for public health decision-making in sub-Saharan Africa, already supported by BMFG.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.